Our oceans need help. Rising sea level is one of the most prominent effects of global warming. In the recent years, we have not only witnessed the rise in sea levels but also an increase in the ocean temperature, which is not only leading to flooding of the costal lands but also impacting the marine life, such as the corals.
Our oceans absorb the heat from the atmosphere and due to global warming; there has been a significant increase in the ocean temperature which has led to bleaching of corals and the loss of breeding ground for marine life, not to mention oceans occupying more space due to thermal expansion. It also results in melting of sea ice and inland glaciers which causes inland flooding. If seawater floods the inland soil, it spoils the agricultural soil by leaving salt residue which can cause draught and soil erosion. Ocean warming also poses a threat towards fisheries and the agriculture industry.
The rising sea levels pose a whole, different set of problems such as making the low level areas inhabitable and drowning islands which causes the problem of migration. It is also one of the biggest causes of increased number of typhoons and sea storms recently which have the ability to destroy everything in their paths. There is a constantly growing population living on constantly shrinking habitable area.
On top of everything else, we are also literally suffocating the oceans with our waste disposal system which is mostly dumping the waste in the ocean. We simply dump everything from unprocessed chemicals to single use plastics in the water bodies which ultimately find its way to the ocean and back to us when we eat sea food from polluted environment. The plastic we throw into the ocean ends up being eaten by fishes and turtles, and stored in their stomachs because they cannot digest it. Big creatures like whales have been found with a substantial amount plastic in their stomachs.
The oceans need our help and we can learn from Alexandra Doudera, a marine biology student from Northeastern University who started an initiative called Saltwater Classroom, a non-profit that teaches middle school students around the world about the importance of protecting our oceans. She also works tirelessly with children to clean our beaches and says,
“Learning about something, whether it is salt marshes or sea turtles causes you to care about it, and when you care about something, you value it more than you would otherwise. When you value something, you want to protect it and see that no harm comes to it. We need a new wave of this kind of thinking for our oceans.”